Pumpkin pie bars take your favourite fall slice and transform it into an easy, yet elegant, three-layer dessert These beautiful baked bars start with a buttery shortbread base, which is then topped with a creamy pumpkin pie filling before being covered with a generous nutty brown sugar crumble. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or a homemade pumpkin spice latte, and slide into fall.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Makes: 15 to 18 bars

Ingredients:
Shortbread Base
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

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Pumpkin Pie Filling
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin purée
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Pecan-Hazelnut Topping
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1⁄4 cup brown sugar

Directions:
Shortbread Base:
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line the bottom and sides of 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on all sides.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add flour and mix on low speed until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until dry to the touch. Reserve for second baking with filling.
3. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.

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Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1. In a blender or food processor or large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and blend until smooth.

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2. Evenly pour filling over the baked shortbread base and smooth top with a spatula.
3. Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes. Reserve for third baking with nut topping.

Pecan Hazelnut Topping:
1. In a medium bowl, combine nuts and brown sugar. Mix well.

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2. Sprinkle pecan hazelnut topping in an even layer over baked filling layer. Bake for a final time for 15 to 20 minutes, until pumpkin pie filling has set.

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3. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 1 hour at room temperature. Lift the parchment out of the pan using overhang, and transfer onto a cutting board. Cut into 15 to 18 bars or squares. Serve.

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Of course, pumpkin pie bars are begging for little whipped cream. Master the basic technique (or fix an over-whipped batch) with this tutorial.